The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is probably the most common bird of prey found in Alaska. Bald Eagle comes from the old English word, "balde" meaning "white headed." 80% of the Bald Eagles residing the U.S. are found in Alaska. The oldest documented ealge in Alaska was one tagged in the Chilkat Valley near Haines, who lived to the age 28.
Bald Eagles are one of the largest birds in North America. Adult Bald Eagles weight varies from 7-15 pounds depending on the sex, females are the larger. They also have a wingspan of 6 to 8 feet, and a lifespan of around 20 years in the wild and longer in captivity. When Bald Eagles are 4-5 years, they become sexually mature, developing the white head, solid dark body plumage, and golden eyes and beak, juveniles are a mottled brown prior to that time. They have very powerful eyesight 4 times better than humans. Bald Eagles can fly up to 35-43 miles per hour (56-70 kilometers).
Bald Eagles are found near large bodies of open water to support their feeding and nesting habits. Ideal places are seacoast (open bodies of water), rivers, lakes, marshes where there is lots of fish to eat and old growth tall trees for roosting and nesting. Bald Eagles mostly eat fish but will eat anything that can be caught; rabbit squirrels, otters, or even dead animals they are an opportunistic feeder. Bald Eagles in Alaska have been documented lifting 15 pounds (7kg).
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